David McPhail

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David McPhail
Born (1945-04-11) 11 April 1945 (age 72)
New Zealand
Occupation Comedian, actor

David Alexander McPhail ONZM QSM (born 11 April 1945) is a New Zealand comedic actor and writer whose television career spans four decades. McPhail first won fame on sketch comedy show A Week of It, partly thanks to his impressions of New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon. He went on to appear in multiple series of sketch show McPhail and Gadsby, and hit comedy Letter to Blanchy. All three shows featured his longtime friend Jon Gadsby.


Christchurch-based McPhail had appeared on television as a reporter and occasional actor before winning fame in 1977 with A Week of It. One of the earliest New Zealand comedy shows, both to satirize politicians and win a wide audience, the series mixed sketches lampooning politics, sport, and television. A Week of It ran for three seasons.

McPhail went on to create and appear in at least seven series of skit show McPhail and Gadsby, co-starring his A Week of It colleague Jon Gadsby, and backwoods comedy Letter to Blanchy, which spawned a 2008 play.

McPhail starred in two seasons of series Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby. McPhail plays Gormsby, a dominating, old-fashioned school teacher who ruffles feathers when he begins teaching at a school in a low income area. McPhail went on to play eccentric superhero The Green Termite in The Amazing Extraordinary Friends.

His autobiography The Years Before My Death: Memories of a Comic Life was published by Longacre in 2010.


McPhail was awarded the Queen's Service Medal for public services in the 1992 New Year Honours.[1] In the 2008 New Year Honours, he was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of services to television and the theatre.[2]

Credits (incomplete)[edit]




  1. ^ London Gazette (supplement), No. 52768, 30 December 1991. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  2. ^ "New Year Honours 2008". Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2007. 
  3. ^ "The White Elephant". NZBS on Demand. Retrieved 2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

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